Statewide assessments began in 1978, and have occurred every year since 1989. During this time over 150 lakes have been monitored, with most of these lakes having been monitored for at least 6 years and the key lakes within the state being monitored for over 20 years. This has resulted in what may be the most complete, long-term study of lakes within an individual state. Through this effort we have gained a better understanding of lake water quality and the factors that influence it, as well as how water quality varies in the short (within summer) and long terms (year to year). The data generated through the Statewide Assessment helps the state meet Clean Water Act requirements for monitoring lake water quality, but more importantly, the knowledge helps agencies (DNR, MDC, local governments, etc.) identify problems and manage our lakes.
The Lakes of Missouri Volunteer Program (LMVP) was created in 1992. In the last 25 years, hundreds of volunteers have collected water samples from 120 Missouri lakes. Many lakes have multiple sample sites. Table Rock Lake, for example, currently has 18 sample sites. Water samples are collected by ciitzen scientists and analyzed at the Limnology Laboratory at the University of Missouri and the resulting data are of exceptionally high quality.
For more information, visit LMVP.org
Reservoir Observed Student Scientists (ROSS) is a citizen science program designed to introduce high school students to the field of limnology. Students receive field training from experts on how to properly sample reservoirs, specifically Bethel Lake, and how to process the samples that they collect (water clarity parameters, nutrients, chlorophyll, and cyanotoxins). This project is facilitated by the Limnology Lab at the University of Missouri and currently partners with Rock Bridge High School (RBHS) in Columbia. This project gives students an opportunity to get into the field and gather their own data, and hopefully create a connection between them and Bethel Lake. The goal of this study is to generate quality year-round data while exposing students who are underrepresented in STEM fields to the tangible and enjoyable aspects of science!
The Watershed Management Internship Program includes partners at seven different universities across the North Central Region of the United States who will each mentor undergraduate summer interns over the next five years.